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Ladue, MO

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Posted by Christopher Combs on February 23, 2024

Child pornography defense lawyer in Ladue, MO. Facing allegations of or charges for the possession or distribution of child pornography threatens to destroy both your reputation and your future. If you’ve been accused of having or distributing child pornography in or around Ladue, MO, you could be facing felony charges and mandatory Missouri sex offender registration if convicted. Don’t leave your defense to chance.

Call the criminal defense attorneys at Combs Waterkotte immediately at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online for a free, no-obligation case review. Our expert child pornography defense lawyer will meet with you one-and-one, discuss the specifics of your case, and provide guidance on next steps.

What Can Lead to Child Pornography Charges in Ladue, MO?

Despite prevailing stereotypes, child pornography charges can impact individuals from all walks of life throughout the Ladue, MO area. As outlined in Missouri Revised Statute § 573.010, child pornography is defined as any material or performance that is obscene and depicts sexual conduct, contact, or sexual performance, involving a minor under 18 years old as a participant or portrayed observer.

As per RSMo § 573.037, a person commits the offense of child pornography if such person knowingly or recklessly possesses any child pornography of a minor below 18 years of age or obscene material portraying what appears to be a minor below 18 years old.

A few examples of specific child pornography charges in the Ladue, MO area are:

  • Possessing Child Pornography: Having child pornography in your possession, regardless of the quantity or form – digital, physical, etc.
  • Promoting Child Pornography: Involves distributing or selling child pornography to an adult, or promoting adult pornography to a minor.
  • Sexual Exploitation of a Minor: Encompasses filming, photographing, or participating in any aspect of the creation process of child pornography.

If you are facing charges or have been questioned regarding any of these examples – or any other child pornography charges in Ladue, MO – call Combs Waterkotte now at (314) 900-HELP or reach out to us online. You need an knowledgeable advocate on your side to protect your reputation, your rights, and your future.

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer in Ladue, MO | Ladue, MO Criminal Defense | Combs Waterkotte

What Are the Penalties for Child Pornography in Ladue, MO?

Statutorily, under RSMo § 573.037, the offense of child pornography is a class D felony if you possess only one still image of child pornography or one obscene still image. The offense becomes a class B felony in Ladue, MO if you:

  • Possess more than 20 still images of child pornography
  • Possess more than 20 obscene still images
  • Possess child pornography in the form of one motion picture, film, videotape, videotape production, or other moving image
  • Possess obscene material in the form of one motion picture, film, videotape, videotape production, or other moving image
  • Prior conviction for an offense under this section

Penalties for Promotion of Child Pornography in and Around Ladue, MO

The promotion of child pornography to an adult is a class C felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison along with fines. Moreover:

  • If you knowingly promote child porn to a minor, or promote obscene material of a child under 14 years of age, you could be facing a class B felony, leading to imprisonment for a duration of 5-15 years.
  • If you have had a previous child pornography conviction, wholesale promotion of child porn, or promoting child porn to a minor in Missouri, it’s a class D felony and could mean 4 years in prison and fines.

Penalties for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Ladue, MO Area

Charges related to sexual exploitation of a minor are categorized as a class B felony. However, if the child involved was under 14 years old the charges are elevated to a class A felony, which carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.

Who Has to Register as a Sex Offender in Ladue, MO and Throughout Missouri?

Under RSMo § 589.400, individuals charged with specific crimes are obligated to register with the Missouri Sex Offender Registry within three days of their conviction or release from jail, prision, or probation:

  • Possessing and/or promoting child pornography
  • Using children in sexual performances
  • Promoting sexual performance by children
  • Sexually exploiting a minor
  • Public display of sexually explicit material
  • Promoting pornography for minors
  • Promoting obscenity
  • Coercing others to accept obscene materials
  • Promoting prostitution
  • Sexual contact with nursing home residents

Missouri classifies offenders into different tiers for sex offender registration requirements, including:

  • Tier I Offenders: These individuals have a 15-year registration requirement and must report to the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) in person once a year. These offenses do not include child pornography, and are for misdemeanor sexual offenses or minor statutory offenses.
  • Tier II Offenders: Offenders in this tier face a 25-year registration requirement and must report to the CLEO in person semiannually. These offenses include possession of child pornography, indecent exposure, and other nonviolent sexual crimes against minors.
  • Tier II Offenders: These have a lifetime registration requirement and must report to the CLEO in person every 90 days. Offenses in this category usually involve violent acts such as rape, child molestation, sexual assault, as well as repeat offenses.

Penalties for Not Registering as a Sex Offender in Ladue and Throughout Missouri

Failure to register as a sex offender is a class E felony unless you are required to register after being charged with an offense in chapter 566 as an unclassified felony, a class A or B felony, or a felony involving a child under the age of 14, in which case it is elevated to a class D felony.

Combs Waterkotte is a leading criminal defense law firm based in St. Louis. In addition to expert legal representation from our skilled Ladue, MO child pornography lawyers, we provide help in the following practice areas for clients in Ladue and anywhere in Missouri:

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Ladue, MO | Criminal Defense Law Firm in Ladue, MO | Combs Waterkotte

What Are Common Defenses Against Child Pornography Charges in Ladue, MO?

The Combs Waterkotte skilled Ladue, MO child pornography defense team has a combined 60-plus years of experience defending clients throughout Ladue, MO in cases just like yours. While every case is different with unique circumstances, some defense strategies our lawyers have used include:

An Unintentional Possession Defense

Also known as “unintended possession,” this defense argues that you did not intend to possess child pornography in or around Ladue, MO, or that the material didn’t belong to you. It could be applicable if child pornography was found on a shared computer or hard drive or on a device accessible to individuals other than yourself without your knowledge. An unintentional download through an unsecured network or the malicious actions of a vengeful ex-spouse or someone else in Ladue, MO could also be considered.

Your knowledgeable Combs Waterkotte defense lawyer will work to establish that you were not aware of possessing child porn. Call us now at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.

Accidental Possession Defense

The internet can be a treacherous environment. Your computer is continuously subjected to viruses, spyware, malware, spam, or various other inputs without your knowledge or consent. These intrusions could easily include child pornography or other obscene materials. You, like many other individuals in Ladue and throughout Missouri, have numerous files on your computer you didn’t even know existed.

“Not Child Porn” Defense

This defense challenges the prosecution’s burden to prove that material in question involves any individual under the age of 18. If the material serves a scientific, religious, or educational purpose, it may be argued that it should not be classified as child pornography.

Illegal Search and Seizure

Law enforcement often makes procedural errors violating an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights under the Constitution. The defense team at Combs Waterkotte is vigilant in protecting your rights, future, and best interests. Law enforcement can occasionally push the limits on getting a warrant or may search beyond the scope of said warrant. If evidence against you was seized illegally, your child pornography defense lawyer will argue it is inadmissible.

Entrapment

Entrapment can manifest in various situations throughout the Ladue, MO area. The defense is rooted in the fact that you would not have committed the offense if law enforcement hadn’t contacted you and persuaded you to do so. In some cases, officers may induce individuals to purchase content which wasn’t clearly labeled or believed to be child porn, only to arrest them for buying child porn. Entrapment occurs more frequently than we might know – particularly when law enforcement runs a child porn sting operation which may round up a multitude of individuals, not all of whom are guilty.

Psychological Addiction/Mitigating Circumstances

While it isn’t necessarily a winning defense, claiming a psychological addiction to child pornography is a possible means to minimize your sentence or, in some cases, avoid imprisonment through participation in a treatment program and probation. Your Combs Waterkotte Ladue, MO defense attorney may present a variety of mitigating factors, such as mental health issues, a history of abuse or neglect, extreme stress or anxiety, family conflict, lack of guidance as a child, and others.

Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Ladue, MO | Ladue, MO Criminal Defense Attorneys | Combs Waterkotte

Don’t Hesitate – Reach Out to a Ladue, MO Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Now at Combs Waterkotte

Child pornography charges are serious and can have lasting, if not permanent, implications on your reputation and future in Ladue, MO. However, even in the face of such severity, there exist defenses that can wield effectively by the adept and relentless Combs Waterkotte legal team. Don’t try to navigate the uncertainties and complexities of the Ladue or Missouri legal system on your own.

We know that good people often find themselves caught in bad situations in Ladue and throughout Missouri. We’re here to help. Call our expert Ladue, MO child pornography defense lawyers today at (314) 900-HELP or fill out our online contact form to arrange a free, confidential case review.

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